Maintenance cost reduction at global polypropylene manufacturer

Identifying key areas for improvement
During an initial three-week analysis, a number of key areas for improvement were identified.  These included:
• Overall lack of maintenance organization at both shop floor & management level;
• Absence of adequate preparation for repair work resulting in scheduling problems;
• Insufficient management and coordination of breaks leading to overtime growth; and
• Poor productivity during maintenance work order execution (55% lost time).

Implementing successful maintenance management
The key reason for the lack of maintenance organization lay in a historically opaque management culture, which was preventing the right decisions from being made at the right time. Due to market demands, the resulting rise in product volume and the increased complexity of equipment, the management was struggling to coordinate maintenance work and control downtime. By defining and installing a Management Control and Reporting System to measure progress and performance, the client gained a clear understanding of the requirements and criticality level of each individual piece of equipment. Maintenance could then be planned and scheduled correctly and according to priority. As a result, equipment uptime improved by 7%, while reactive work reduced from 90% to 20%.   Equipment visibility gained from the above measures also meant that overtime caused by technicians arriving for work inadequately prepared reduced from 30 minutes to 9 minutes in 10 weeks, representing a 3.5% FTE saving.

Instigating change
To ensure adequate preparation for and management of work, the client and T.A. Cook:
•    Organized the separation of project and routine maintenance;
•    Clarified resource requirements to ensure staff arrived on time;
•    Clarified work order prioritization procedures; and
•    Installed a gatekeeping process to ensure that production and maintenance teams use established standardized notification and execution processes.  

Sustainable maintenance management
T.A. Cook works together with its clients to ensure that all staff fully understand maintenance processes.  Only when clarity has been gained at all levels, can maintenance work be coordinated effectively and managed sustainably. Only 3 months into an 8-month project, by optimizing technical department interfaces and splitting tasks in a state of the art way between Maintenance and Production, further substantial benefits will be realized.